It's well known that smoking during pregnancy is dangerous to an unborn child. New research shows some children pay a heavier price if their mothers smoke while they're pregnant. Scientists have found a genetic link they say makes the lungs more susceptible to the effects of smoke in the womb. The study of nearly 3,000 children finds those with a variation of a common gene called GSM-1 were much more likely to have Asthma, wheezing or other breathing problems if their mother smoked during pregnancy than those without the gene.
The study is part of the children's health study led by researchers at the University of Southern California and is published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Researchers say their study is the first to pinpoint a group of children who appear genetically susceptible to the effects of smoke in the womb. Previous research has shown that environmental tobacco smoke impairs lung growth and development in children, and recent reports have suggested exposure in the womb is linked to lung problems later in life. Researchers warn that further studies are needed to confirm findings. The group hopes to examine links between other genes and respiratory disease risk.
New research is showing the benefits of eating honey. A five week study shows regular consumption of honey boosts levels of antioxidants in the blood and may even protect against Heart Disease. The study involved 25 men between the ages of 18 and 68. Each drank a mixture of honey and water daily for five weeks. In the end, blood samples showed the honey provided the same level of antioxidants as fruits like apples or strawberries.
Experts say despite the finding, honey is no substitute for the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. The scientists are now studying animals to see if honey has an effect on hardening of the arteries. They're evaluating the possibility that honey may protect against the bacteria that causes cavities in teeth.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.
If you're an Almond lover, you're gonna love this story. Canadian researchers studied 27 high cholesterol patients who followed three different diets for one month each. Two diets contained Almonds, the other included a snack with the same amount of calories, fat and protein as the Almonds. In the end, they found patients who ate the most Almonds, with Almonds making up about 1/4 of daily calories, showed an average cholesterol drop of over 9%. Those who ate about a handful of Almonds a day, experienced a cholesterol decrease of over 4%.
You can read the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This research was conducted at the clinical nutrition and risk factor modification center at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.